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Customer Retention Tips for Personal Trainers and Fitness Studios


Current estimates throughout the business world, including the fitness industry, suggest that attracting a new customer is five times the cost of retaining existing clientele. When times get tough, maintaining a steady relationship with current customers increases in its importance. Here are the four best ways to retain customers:

1. Continue to Produce Results

A client comes in to lose 10 pounds, relieve low back pain or get ready for the 5-mile fun run. What happens when they achieve that goal? If you have not prepared the next phase of programming, chances are this customer is going to move on. The key is to plant the seed of what is next without taking away focus from the original goal. Letting a client know that possibilities lie beyond their initial purpose increases the likelihood of staying. Stagnant progress and training without an expressed intention is a recipe for drop out.

2. Add Value

Clients will stay if they still see value in your services, and unfortunately, the luster of your initial offerings may rust with age. Reinvesting time and resources into the services provided to the current customer base will augment retention. If the cost of acquiring new customers is five times the cost of maintaining existing ones, about 20 percent of the time and budget for marketing should be focused on current clientele. Finding new recipes for a client’s nutrition plan or sending an e-mail with a motivational message or a simple hello adds value to the relationship.

3. Create a Community

Customers tend to be loyal if they feel they are a part of something bigger. Fostering a sense of community at the gym is a key component to client retention. Social events such as parties, BBQs and fitness outings that involve employees, members, their friends and family not only enhances these relationships, but can bring in some as well. Public recognition of achievements, client of the month and anniversaries of beginning their fitness journey also builds rapport.

4. Be Flexible

If money or time becomes an obstacle for a client, the choice between retaining a part of a client’s business or none of it is presented. Having alternative training services such as fewer sessions per week or group classes provides a solution for the customer. It is not ideal but it will keep the customer within the fold and more likely to move back to higher income services if their situation changes.

Customers are the lifeblood of any fitness business and attaining them is an important process. Retaining existing clientele as this process is more cost- and time-effective. Repeatedly reaching fitness goals with clients, who value the service provided and feel part of the community while remaining flexible to meet their current needs, is the formula to maintaining your current customer base.

This blog was published in association with ACE Fitness.

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